If I had 2 cents for every time a student asked me “When will the pain after BJJ stop?” I would have a ridiculous amount of unusable currency.
The bad news is if you train BJJ you’re going to hurt afterwards, there’s no buts or ifs about it.
The good news is, the level of discomfort or pain is really up to you and how serious you are about you’re post training recovery.
5 Ways to Boost Your Recovery and Live to Train Another Day
1. Practice Self Love
Ok, this doesn’t mean what I think you think it means.
Practicing self love, in this context, involves taking care of your body (again, not what you think) using a technique called Self Myofascial Release (SMR) to smooth out any knots and matted down tissues.
SMR basically involves the use of foam rollers, lacrosse balls and the like to (painfully) massage your muscles increasing their pliability and range of movement.
2. Eat Well and Eat Right
Sweet! Another reason to add healthy eating to your routine – Kale shake anyone?
Ensuring you properly fuel and refuel your body with high quality proteins, fats and carbohydrates will aid the preservation and growth of your muscles and improve cellular glucose uptake, which is essential for athletic performance and energy. (3)
Replenishing minerals like sodium in a post training drink is important for hydration and you should be looking to consume roughly 150% of the fluids lost from training. Also, you’ll want to avoid liquids like coffee, teas and alcohol that may produce a diuretic effect. So yeah, even with its carbohydrate content beer isn’t quite the best post workout beverage (4)
3. Improve Sleep Quality
The quality of your sleep is extremely important in physiological recovery and regeneration.
Forgoing sleep in order to find the perfect YouTube video to stuff that bastard Bill’s takedown may provide you with technical inspiration, but it will definitely damage your recovery.
Sleep deprivation can hamper necessary bodily functions like:
- Hormone regulation
- Blood glucose levels
- Blood pressure and cardiovascular regulation
Tips for improving sleep quality:
- Limit artificial light from TVs, computers, phones, tablets, etc. before bed
- Limit stimulants use e.g. coffee, pre-workouts, infuriating social media posts
- Sleep in a cool room
- Meditate before bed
4. Listen to Your Body
Look, this one may seem like I’m telling you to go soft, but shut up a minute.
Unless you’re training to compete at the worlds, ADCC, EBI or some other big name event, you don’t need to be pushing yourself to death everyday of the week.
Being flexible with your training and taking a day off when you develop signs like flu symptoms, insomnia or a broken leg will give you better results and let you train more often compared to pushing yourself light-years beyond your limits.
Now, please pay attention to the language I used there, “light-years beyond your limits”, “Flu symptoms”, “Insomnia” and “broken leg”. These are the signs you should be looking for to take a day off training and not excuses like “Ah, I want to KFC instead.”
5. Breathe Breathe Breeeaattthhhe
Actually, this is one of my favourite and it’s not some David “Avocado” Wolfe douch baggery claim either.
Studies have shown that a practice of deep diaphramic breathing aids in increasing antioxidant defence against free radicals after intense training sessions. Breathing consciously and deeply helps to reduce cortisol stress hormone levels and increases melatonin for relaxation, which has been linked to lower levels of damaging oxidative stress. (7)
Tips for Breathing:
Step 1 – “Breathe Mother F*&cker” – Mr. Wim Hof
Step 2 – Go back to Step 1